Cross-channel kitesurf for air ambulance

Photo: L-R, Thomas Cawte, Rupert Cawte, Alex Thompson, and Tristan Cawte

A group of kitesurfers have successfully completed a challenge to cycle and sail from London to Paris in just 24 hours, to raise funds for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and the RNLI.

The team at The Kitesurf Centre in Camber, East Sussex, set off from Jubilee Park at daybreak last week (June 9th) and pedalled 74 miles to Dungeness.

They then swapped their Lycra for wetsuits and kitesurfed cross the Engilsh Channel as they tried to beat the individual and team world records.

They arrived on the French coast between Wissant and Boulogne Sur Mer before cycling 152 miles to the Champs Elysees – a total of 256 miles across land and sea.

Organiser Tristan Cawte, 28, said: “After all delays and stops we managed to reach Paris in 23 hours, 30mins - six hours from London to Dungeness, 1hr,23mins’ kitesurfing, three hours going to Folkestone and getting the train to Boulogne and 13 hours’ cycling to Paris.

“We did the challenge to raise awareness and funds for Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance and the RNLI, two charities that are hugely valued by The Kitesurf Centre.

“Unfortunately, kitesurfers can experience serious accidents and the air ambulance is an invaluable resource in dealing with these. Access is often difficult and it can be hard to assess the severity of an injury until the kitesurfer is out of their wetsuit.”

The London to Paris team were Tristan and his brothers Thomas, 30, and Rupert, 26, and friend Alex Thompson, 27.

Tristan and Thomas have previously kitesurfed across the Channel while Rupert will be aiming to beat the 100mph British snowboard speed record, in March 2016.

All four were trained by a sports coach specialising in strength and conditioning, and sports psychology.

The team has so far raised £1,180 of their £2,000 target and can still be sponsored at


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